Croots Farm Shop, near Duffield, has been praised for the way it meets customer requirements and the commitment of its staff.

The shop and café, in Wirksworth Road, has been commended in the Deli of the Year competition after being nominated by customers as part of a national competition.

Judges said Croots was a champion of “deli attitude”, had identified and understood what its customers wanted and that staff knew what they were talking about when it came to food.

The contest is run by Olives Et Al, an artisan food producer in Dorset, and is supported by the Guild of Fine Food and Delicious Magazine. It aims to raise awareness of delis and help owners get feedback from customers.

“Congratulations to Croots,” said organiser Giles Henschel.

“We hope that the team is thrilled to have been nominated by their own customers and commended by the judges.”

Farm shop owner Steve Croot is delighted to be able to add the commendation to a string of recent awards including a haul of gold and silver prizes from a regional Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board event, accolades in the British Pie Awards, and top prizes at the 17th Robin Hood Championship run by the Nottinghamshire Council of Retail Meat Traders.

“It’s good to know that customers appreciate the quality of the service we offer as well as the quality of our products,” he said.

“And it’s gratifying to know that they recognise the knowledge and expertise of our staff, too. We’re very grateful to our customers for the nomination and pleased to have received a commendation in this national award.”

Croots, based at Farnah House Farm, opened its doors three years ago and has gone from strength to strength. As well as the shop and café, it recently opened a plant nursery.

Last year it was a runner-up in the Best UK Independent Food Retailer 2010 category of the Observer Food Monthly Awards. The year before, it was named in The Independent’s top 50 best food shops.

Croots Farm Shop and Kitchen is open Sundays from 10am to 4pm (café until 3.45pm), and from Tuesday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm (café until 4.30pm). It is closed on Mondays.

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